How Long Does Electrician School Take?

Electricians are integral in today’s world when we are all dependent on continued supply of electrical power to make things work. Because they are responsible for installation and maintenance of electrical power, lighting systems and repairing wiring and equipment, electricians play a very vital role in ensuring that homes, businesses and factories have a continued supply of electricity.

The traditional route towards becoming an electrician is through an apprenticeship. These programs typically last for four to five years and teach students in the classroom as well as through paid on-the-job training. In these programs, apprentices are taught about electrical theory, requirements of the electrical code, how to read blueprints, how to give first aid and safety practices, among others. In every year in an apprenticeship program, students must finish 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training.

Apprenticeship programs are typically offered by unions, contractor associations and other organizations. They typically require apprentices to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have taken a year of algebra, have a qualifying score in an aptitude test and have passed screening for substance abuse. When an applicant passes an apprenticeship program, they are able to earn while they learn. Two examples of apprenticeship programs in the United States are the New Mexico Electrical Apprenticeship and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Apprentice Training Program. Apprentices who have completed an apprenticeship program become journey workers who are able to do electrical installation and maintenance work on their own.

Another mode of entry towards becoming an electrician is by attending a trade or technical school. These offer electrician certificate programs which take less than a year to complete. For those who are already working and want to become electricians but don’t want to have to attend an on-campus training course, one of the more convenient methods to be able to gain entry into this profession is by enrolling in an online program.

At Ashworth College, a career diploma in electrician training can be obtained in as short as four months. Penn Foster Career School also offers an online electrician training which can be completed in around seven months. What makes enrolling in an online program ideal is the flexibility it provides. For as long as the student has a computer with Internet access, it is possible to study and finish the course any time of the day wherever he or she is. Another advantage is the fact that the student does not have to be burdened by the idea that he or she will have to take out a student loan just to be able to finance his electrician program. An online program gives him with the opportunity to work and fund his electrician program costs without going into debt.

In many states, electricians must be licensed before they can practice their profession. The requirements vary from one state to another but it generally requires passing a test about the National Electrical Code and the electrical codes of the state and that of local jurisdictions.

Career Spotlight: Electrician

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